PLAYBILL VIDEO WEEK IN REVIEW: Lindsay Mendez Prepares for Wicked, the Tony Award Nominees, Backstage at Vanya and Sonia and Starcatcher Off-Broadway

By Playbill Staff
June 2, 2013

In the new series Playbill Video Week in Review, Playbill.com recaps its weekly coverage of Broadway performances, celebrity interviews, web series and opening nights – in case they were missed the first time around.



In this preview for the next episode of "On Stage Across America," we catch up with Broadway's Aaron Tveit, chat with the 2013 Tony nominees, examine the ultimate real-life "High School Musical," and visit a 70-year-old theatre tradition. On the first Saturday of each month, "On Stage Across America" — a new monthly series uniting Playbill Magazine and Time Warner Cable news channel NY1 — will bring interviews with Broadway stars, writers, producers and directors, as well as the latest backstage theatre scoop, to Time Warner subscribers across the U.S. Each show will also include a list of theatre events relevant to your local market. The series will also be available on local On Demand channels in TWC markets. Click here for your local listings.

 

After a multi-Tony-winning Broadway run, Peter and the Starcatcher returns to its Off-Broadway roots at New World Stages. Penned by Rick Elice and under the direction of Alex Timbers and Roger Rees, the imagination-fueled play with music is based on the Dave Barry-Ridley Pearson novel and tells the story of Peter Pan before he became the boy who would not grow up. To see a behind-the-scenes look at the show's set shop with set designer Donyale Werle, click here.

 

 

The improv troupe of Rochester, NY’s Geva Theatre takes up the camera for the latest installment of TDF’s Theatre Dictionary Term of the Month. Troupe members John Zaffino, Abby Kraai, Laura Sherwood and Tim Ryan break down the meaning of “catwalk.” Watch the video definition of “kick your face.”

 

 

 

 

Stephanie J. Block played a woman playing a man in the music hall influenced The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Carolee Carmello was nominated for playing real life evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson in Scandalous.

Valisia LeKae channeled Diana Ross in Berry Gordy’s biographical Motown: The Musical.

Patina Miller stars as the Leading Player in Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin.

Laura Osnes finds her prince in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.

To see the full list of 2013 Tony nominations, click here.

 

 

Bertie Carvel is nominated for his performance as malicious, pigtail-hating principal Miss Trunchbull in Matilda The Musical.

Santino Fontana is nominated for his portrayal of Prince Topher in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.

Rob McClure is nominated for his performance as silent screen star Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin.

Billy Porter is nominated for playing fabulous drag queen Lola in Kinky Boots.

Stark Sands is nominated for his performance as working-class shoe factory owner Charlie Price in Kinky Boots.

To see the full list of 2013 Tony nominations, click here.

 

 

Laurie Metcalf stars in The Other Place, a drama about a woman whose life is unraveling at the seams.

Amy Morton is nominated for her role as Martha, a woman who trades sadistic barbs with her professor husband in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Kristine Nielsen plays Sonia, a woman who never left home so she could care for her parents in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Holland Taylor plays fiery and funny Texas governor Ann Richards in Ann.

Cicely Tyson is nominated for her work in The Trip to Bountiful as Carrie Watts, a woman longing to return to small-town life.

 

 

 

Currently starring in Broadway's Motown: The Musical, Morgan James broke out a brand new tune called “All Cried Out” (she penned it along with Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello) at the sound check for her last 54 Below gig. James returns to the venue on June 3 for another show that will feature the same bluesy and soulful tunes, many of which appear on her album “Morgan James Live From Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola” and many of which will appear on her soon-to-be-released CD (“All Cried Out” included). For tickets and info, visit 54Below.com.

 

 

Tom Hanks is nominated for his performance as Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mike McAlary in Lucky Guy.

Nathan Lane is nominated for his portrayal of gay burlesque performer Chauncey in The Nance.

Tracy Letts is nominated for his performance as history professor George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

David Hyde Pierce is nominated for playing Vanya in the Chekhov-inspired comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Tom Sturridge is nominated for his performance as damaged orphan Phillip in Orphans.

To see the full list of 2013 Tony nominations, click here.

 

 

Composer and producer Joey Contreras presents the latest episode of “Hot Off the Ivories,” his web series featuring the songs of up-and-coming composers. Here, Jay Armstrong Johnson ( Hands on a Hardbody) performs “Town Goes Boom” by Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics), who are known as the songwriting team behind Broadway-bound Tuck Everlasting. Miller accompanies on piano, with Matt Hinkley on guitar. Watch Phoebe Strole perform Contreras’ “Good Friends.”

 

 

Tony Award winning actress and vocalist Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change; Jelly's Last Jam) returns to Joe's Pub on June 3 with her new concert Tonya Pinkins Unplugged. The evening, which combines theatre songs with stories from her career, will include songs such as "Pirate Jenny," "Defying Gravity" and "Gimme Gimme." In anticipation of the concert, here is Pinkins singing the Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart classic "My Funny Valentine" at a previous Joe's Pub engagement. For more information on Tonya Pinkins Unplugged, click here.

 

 

In the series finale, Jacob (series co-creator Wesley Taylor) — still reeling from his ex (Gideon Glick) being cast in The Ice Queen — breaks the news to his boyfriend Philip (Adam Chanler-Berat). Jacob later returns home to find his apartment-squatting agent Sam (series co-creator Mitchell Jarvis) has brought him a surprise guest with a career-changing offer he can't refuse. Watch the series from Episode 1.

*Includes adult situations and language. Viewer discretion is advised.

 

 

Stars Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce and Kristine Nielsen had fun on set while making a commercial for their hit Broadway show Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Whether improvising new lines, describing the show with colorful adjectives or getting their hair touched up, the trio joked their way through the shoot. Presumably, an actual commercial was shot as well!

 

 

Caissie Levy, Tony nominees Will Swenson and John Ellison Conlee, and Rebecca Naomi Jones, star in the sexy and explosive musical Murder Ballad. Trip Cullman (Lonely, I’m Not) directs the production conceived by Jonathan Larson Award winner and two-time Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Julia Jordan. Book and lyrics are by Jordan; music and lyrics are by indie rock singer/songwriter Juliana Nash. Read the Playbill Diva Talk with Rebecca Naomi Jones.

 

 

Lindsay Mendez will follow in the footsteps of such performers as Idina Menzel, Eden Espinosa, Mandy Gonzalez, Shoshana Bean and Ana Gasteyer when she joins the cast of Stephen Schwartz’s long-running musical Wicked as the green-skinned Elphaba, a wicked witch in the making. Mendez met up with Playbill during a break from rehearsal and chatted about her experiences preparing for such a large — and beloved — Broadway show. For more, read the Playbill story.